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Israel/OPT: Release terminally ill Palestinian Prisoner

Walid Daqqah is a terminally ill Palestinian prisoner suffering from a rare form of bone marrow cancer. Since October 7, 2023, he has endured torture, humiliation, and denial of family visits, along with neglect of his medical needs. His health has worsened, leading to two hospital transfers during this tough time.

Previously, in March 2023, Walid completed a 37-year sentence for his role in a 1984 incident where an armed group kidnapped and killed an Israeli soldier. Despite this, an Israeli court added two more years to his sentence in 2018, pushing his release to March 2025. Given his critical health condition, it’s uncertain if he will survive until then.

It’s crucial that the Israeli authorities release Walid Daqqah now, on humanitarian grounds, allowing him to be with his family in his final days.

Here’s what you can do:

In light of the imminent danger to his life and exhaustion of all legal remedies, write to the President of the State of Israel urging him to:

  • Apply his power to pardon Walid Daqqah on humanitarian grounds and allow his immediate release from prison.
  • Until he is released, ensure that Israeli prison officials provide Walid Daqqah with the necessary specialized medical care for his condition.
  • Additionally, demand the immediate reinstatement of family visits for him and all Palestinian prisoners. These visits have been unjustly stopped for all Palestinian detainees since October 7, as a form of collective punishment.

Write to:

The President of the State of Israel

Mr. Isaac Herzog

3 Hanassi Street,

Jerusalem 921880, Israel

Email: lishka@president.gov.il ; haninot@president.gov.il

Salutation: Dear President Herzog:

And copy:

His Excellency Iddo Moed


Embassy of the State of Israel

50 O’Connor Street, Suite 1005

Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2

Tel: (613) 750-7500 Fax: (613) 750-7555

Email: info@ottawa.mfa.gov.il

Urgent Call for Pardon and Release

Walid Daqqah, a 63-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, writer, and father, was arrested by Israeli forces in March 1986 at the age of 24. The following year, an Israeli military court sentenced him to life in prison for leading a group associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was involved in the abduction and killing of Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984. In 2012, his life sentence was limited to 37 years after a request to then-president Shimon Peres.

Five years before the end of his sentence, in early 2018, Walid was given an additional two-year sentence in a separate case for attempting to smuggle mobile phones into prison.

His health has significantly declined over the years due to medical neglect by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS). In December 2022, he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, requiring an urgent bone marrow transplant.

Demand for Adequate Medical Care

In November 2023, Walid was transferred to the overcrowded Gilboa Prison in northern Israel, known for its inadequate medical care and hygiene, especially for sick prisoners. There, he faced torture and humiliation, including a violent incident involving about twenty officers during his transfer.

This ill-treatment has led to his hospitalization twice since December due to a sharp decline in his health. His wife, Sanaa, has been unable to see him for nearly five months. He is currently in Ayalon Prison.

We encourage you to write to Mr. Isaac Herzog, the President of the State of Israel, urging him to pardon Walid Daqqah and allow his immediate release from prison. It’s also vital to demand that Walid receive the medical care he needs, in line with Israel’s international human rights obligations, pending his release.

Please take action as soon as possible until May 6, 2024! The UA will be duly updated should there be the need for further action.